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"Winchester Cathedral"  Clinic  Release date: 2004  Label: Domino/Toy's Factory

The bip-bip-bip-biiiiiiiiiiiiiip of the cardiac monitor that starts this album is one of the most exciting sounds a breathless Clinic fan could hear, and the infectious beat and trippy, repetitive guitar riff that introduces "Country Mile" is like meeting an old girlfriend after years apart and finding that they're even more beautiful and funny and intelligent and sexy than you remember. "Circle Of Fifths" raises the tempo with some fabulously edgy piano filling out the traditionally sparse Clinic sound without losing any of the immediacy that characterised their earlier work.

Piano aside, however, this is a Clinic album like all the others, which is to say that it's a work of tense, beautiful, tightly wired, irrepressibly danceable, art-pop genius. The cryptic lyrics still abound, having lost none of their mystery and acidity, and Ade Blackburn still sounds like poisonous snakes are waiting to bite him if he stops ever singing (the ominous rattles in the quiet bits of "Home" suggest that this may well be the case) and while the lack of development from previous albums is a nagging worry, this is really only a sign of the perfection into which the band were born. -Ian Martin, Sep.14.04.

Clinic [Winchester Cathedral] 2004 Winchester Cathedral

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